HUFFINGTON POST: Would Jeb Bush Put an End to the Student Loan Crisis?

Career College Central Summary:

  • For Jeb Bush, former Republican Governor of Florida and heir apparent to the Bush dynasty, an official presidential campaign announcement is all but certain. With an extensive reservoir of financial and political capital, many believe he has already cultivated a strong sense of inevitability as a front-runner for the republican presidential nomination in the upcoming race. So what does that mean for higher education affordability and student loans?
  • An establishment conservative and a champion of the Common Core, one must look to Bush’s record in Florida and to his most recent statements for a sense of how he might approach higher education on a national scale. While he hasn’t directly addressed issues facing recent graduates with crippling debt, his tough talk on university accountability, his close ties to for-profit online education models, and his calls for globalized, online classrooms indicate a vision for innovative higher education reform that doesn’t include the refinancing of student debt.
  • Bush recently tackled higher education in a speech in Greenville, SC, saying that federal student loan programs were financing a “dramatic expansion” of buildings and “prestigious programs for universities to feel good about what they’re doing”, according to the Greenville Online. He argued that these universities should be more transparent about how many of their graduates are finding jobs so that potential students can make smarter decisions when choosing a program.
  • In keeping with this lampooning of the current university system, he co-authored a 2013 essay for Inside Higher Ed, predicting a move from “a provider-driven model to a consumer-driven one” and a subsequent upending of “a system that had endured for centuries.” This new higher education model is to include online degree programs with an international student body, keeping costs low by limiting the needs for physical space. His co-author on the essay was Randy Best, the chairman for the for-profit online education firm Academic Partnerships. Bush was a senior advisor to the firm before resigning from all board positions in 2014.

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